UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Cuts pose threat to quality of Library Services

A report on the Future Libraries Programme's 10 pilot projects highlights a growing dependency on volunteers as local government cuts threaten the future of hundreds of libraries in Britain: http://m.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/aug/06/libraries-will-rely-on-volunteers?cat=books&type=article

Refounding Labour consultation exercise - where's the beef?

An article on the UNISON sponsored Labour List website has criticised the lack of transparency following the conclusion of Labour’s internal consultation on its Refounding labour constitutional review.

Sky of Hiroshima by Yukiko Hayashi

That night I slept in the open
The next morning, I finally made it to the shelter
But only my father was there
Mommy and You-chan died....

Friday, 5 August 2011

Mobilising for pensions action from the bottom up

Gregor Gall surprisingly appears to embrace the great leader theory in his review of the TUC Congress preliminary agenda on the Guardian’s comment is free website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/05/unions-leaders-members

Weaker unions, Greater wage inequality - Fact

The NYT reports that the decline in trade union power and membership has played a larger role in fostering increased wage inequality in the United States than is generally thought.

Hiroshima Day - Get involved!

CND has published details of events taking place across Britain tomorrow to commemorate the 66th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima: http://www.cnduk.org/get-involved/events/item/1214-hiroshima-day

Basic Rights @ Work

Today the TUC is launching a new web based resource to inform workers of their basic employment rights. It will also advise how to enforce these rights through statutory enforcement bodies such as the HMRC minimum wage enforcement team: http://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace/tuc-19833-f0.cfm

Troika warning in Ireland

ICTU general secretary David Begg has warned Taoiseach Enda Kenny that the EU/ECB/IMF Troika is using Ireland as a "social laboratory” to test out its economic policies. See more Congress stories in the special issue of 'Union Post'. http://www.ictu.ie/publications/fulllist/union-post-august-2011/

Thursday, 4 August 2011

‘Big Society’ acts against Edinburgh privatisation

The real ‘big society’ has taken hold in Edinburgh as citizens take things into their own hands by organising public meetings against £1billion privatisation plans.

‘Choice’ agenda is a Trojan horse to break up the NHS

The Kings Fund, a health and social care think tank, has published a report ‘social enterprise in health care’, which reviews the slow emergence of the Con Dem’s preferred alternative to the NHS as providers of health care in England: http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/social_enterprise_in.html

Southampton dispute – escalation in social care

Over 450 social workers and other social care staff took strike action in Southampton yesterday, as UNISON and Unite members stepped up their resistance to pay cuts imposed by the Tory led Council. A video of yesterday’s rally can be viewed here: http://www.twitvid.com/LHRFJ

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Labour & Affiliated Unions set to collide over 50/50 Conference voting

Today's newspapers report that the Labour leadership intends to override union objections and introduce a rule change at next month's Party Conference which will reduce the unions share of conference voting to 40% http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/02/labour-and-the-unions-brotherly-love

40 years ago but we can still learn from UCS campaign

A story by Stephen Low in the Morning Star looks at the UCS Work-in and draws the parallels between the tactics used then and the tasks we face in defending public services now. http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/107797

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Agency workers rights kick in on 1 October – be prepared!

Back in May 2008 the TUC made concessions (such as a 12 week exemption period) to secure joint agreement with the CBI on the implementation of the Temporary Agency Workers' Directive (EU Directive 2008/104/EC on temporary agency work). Regrettably, in the face of private sector lobbying, the then Labour Government deferred implementation to October 2011 (EU deadline was 5 December 2011).

NHS Pension Scheme

Last week the Government announced increased contributions from April 2012 for most members of the NHS Pension Scheme. Those proposals are now subject to consultation which closes on 30 September. The House of Commons Library has published a background paper on the NHS Pension Scheme packed with facts and figures about scheme membership, past protection arrangements and looks at how the Hutton Review might impact on the scheme: http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN03281

Monday, 1 August 2011

Tory Councils’ attack on time off is one front in their war against Unions

NUJ activist Peter Lazenby, writing on the Guardian’s blog, notes that his local experience in Leeds – where the Con Dem Council is attacking union paid release from work – is far from an isolated example: ‘It's happening across the country, with other Tory councillors making similar proposals or preparing the ground for them. The Tories are even targeting union organisation in police authorities. If successful, it would financially cripple public sector unions’ http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jul/31/tory-council-assault-on-unions

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Creation of fear driven workplaces = Tory strategy for public service reform

The revelation in today’s Observer, by senior Cabinet Minister Oliver Letwin MP, that the Government is determined to instil "fear" among those working in the public sector should surprise nobody, other than those gullible enough to believe that the Tory Party has abandoned its Thatcher era hostility to the public services workforce:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/jul/30/public-sector-jobs-oliver-letwin

Fat Man Lodged On Dog Leap Stairs by Keith Armstrong

He pounded the cobbles
of the Castle Garth,
bowling along
with his brain hanging over his neck
and his belly
looming over his huge pants.